Hawks relish home-track run


The Daily Iowan

Penn state runner Matt Fischer races to catch Iowa runner Kevin Lewis at the Big 10 conference cross country meet on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. Michigan State won the women's title, and Wisconsin claimed the men's title. For individual titles, Michigan State runner Leah O'Conner won the women's race, and Wisconsin runner Malachy Schrobilgen won the men's race. (The Daily Iowan/John Theulen)

Saturday will mark the 17th Musco Twilight meet at the Cretzmeyer Track, and for the Hawkeyes, this will be their only chance in the outdoor season to dazzle the home fans.

“We’re getting really close to the Big Ten meet, so we need to continue to step up,” Iowa Director of Track and Field Joey Woody said. “Hopefully, we’ll see some surprises in some of the events.”

On April 16, Iowa competed in the Texas Invitational, in which the Hawkeyes placed third behind Texas and Nebraska while making some strides in the record books.

“[Texas] was good, outside of the weather,” Woody said. “Our athletes still came out and put up some impressive marks.”

One Hawkeye who wrote his name on the school’s all-time list, sophomore Carter Lilly, finished second in the 800 meters at 1:47.32 and jumped to second at Iowa.

“There were one or two other guys up there [in front], but it was a pretty clean race,” Lilly said. “I didn’t have to worry about bumping around with other people.”

It was a recipe for success, which Lilly wants to build upon.

Junior Aaron Mallett would also like to continue a streak. He enters the weekend undefeated in the 110-meter hurdles at Musco, following a 14.08 finish his freshman year and a 13.69 finish last season.

Although he is one of the top hurdlers in the country, Saturday’s task will not be easy, Woody said.

“I think it’ll be a good atmosphere,” he said. “We have some great teams coming in — a lot of great athletes. It should be some good competition.”

Iowa’s 400-meter hurdlers will also have a chance to shine at Musco, led by Mitch Wolff and Noah Larrison.

At Texas, Wolff won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.23. On April 9 at the Jim Click in Tucson, Arizona, the junior finished at 50.96, a personal best. It also moved him to ninth all-time at Iowa.

Larrison has kept pace with Wolff, running with him in every race this season. Wolff and Larrison finished first and second at the Jim Click.

Freshman DeJuan Frye is another Hawkeye to keep an eye on.

The Lacey, Washington, native will try to add to a breakout start in his outdoor career.

In the 400 meters at Texas, Frye recorded the sixth-fastest time in Hawkeye history. This performance came on the heels of the Jim Click, where he ran the seventh-best 400 and was also a member of a solid 4×100 relay.

“DeJuan ran great [at Texas],” Woody said. “He’s just getting better every meet.”

In the field, Hawkeye Reno Tuufuli leads the way, this time with some extra fuel for his competitive fire.

“A friend of mine just threw farther than me in discus, and before the season, I told him that he wasn’t going to beat me,” Tuufuli said. “I will have that extra motivation in the back of my head.”

A friendly rivalry aside, Tuufuli stands as the country’s best freshman discus thrower. His leading mark of 60.71 meters came at the Florida Relays.

Even though many athletes started the outdoor season on good notes, there is work to be done.

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